Acupuncture for Anxiety

Posted on Oct 4, 2013

We have all experienced anxiety to some degree or another. Generally, anxiety is normal and a mechanism that our body uses to cope with a stressful situation. However, anxiety can become excessive, resulting in a disabling disorder that interferes with daily life. There are several common types of anxiety: generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias. All may range from mild to severe and can be caused by an emotional trauma, severe and/or chronic stress, an imbalance in brain chemistry, a genetic predisposition, or as a side effect from medical treatment or drug use. General symptoms of anxiety include muscle tension, sweating, cold and clammy hands, nausea, jumpiness, stomach upset, irritability, fatigue, and insomnia. In cases of anxiety including panic, the person will feel a need of imminent doom or need to escape, may have palpitations, sweating, trembling, a feeling of choking or smothering, dizziness, chills or hot flashes, and intense fears. In cases of post traumatic stress disorder, the person may also experience flashbacks and become increasingly paranoid of their surroundings.

No matter the type, anxiety can become a burden on everyday life. The good news is, acupuncture can help provide relief. A study published in March of 2013 in the Journal of Endocrinology, showed promising results in the use of electro-acupuncture for anxiety treatment; the stress hormones in the rat subjects were lower after receiving treatment. A  review of research published in CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics shows that the results of acupuncture in anxiety treatment are at least comparable to those achieved using cognitive behavioral therapy. Remember the NADA protocol we talked about earlier this week? That’s one of the possibilities to calm the mind (we have seen great results with it in cases of PTSD). There is another treatment that finds its roots in Japanese acupuncture called the “Valium Treatment” (it does, indeed, feel as good as it sounds). The point combinations vary depending on your symptoms, but our goals and the results are the same. Acupuncture is even safe and effective if you are already utilizing medication to control your symptoms and, if you ever decide to wean off, acupuncture is a wonderful option (to be done in conjunction with your doctor) to aid in that process.

Like any other treatment option, remember that acupuncture is a process. The more severe and chronic your symptoms, the more treatments you will need to get relief. In the case of anxiety, the current research shows that a minimum of 10 treatments produces the best results (our experience agrees with the research). Remember that acupuncture is cumulative, so each treatment will leave you feeling better and better. Come see us (and in the meantime, check out how acting like Wonder Woman is an awesome treatment as well!)

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